06/06/2007

In Today's Feuilletons

From the Feuilletons is a weekly overview of what's been happening in the German-language cultural pages and appears every Friday at 3 pm. CET.. Here a key to the German newspapers.

Süddeutsche Zeitung 06.06.2007

"Stop Putin!" pleads journalist Elena Tregubova in an open letter to the G8. Tregubova, who fled to England after the murder of her colleague Anna Politkovskaya, writes: "Don't be fooled: Russia is not just Putin and his clan of secret service Chekists. Freedom-loving Russia is moaning and writhing in shame over Putin, over the climate of hate, paranoia, espionage, fear. Under Putin, Russia has again become a destabilising factor. Are oil and gas really enough to make the world ignore the Kremlin's extermination of its opposition, to ignore the fact that this amoral and bellicose regime is once again bringing us to the brink of destruction?"

Die Zeit 06.06.2007

The G8 summit starts today in Heiligendamm, and the weekly gives the floor to representatives of the uninvited "silent majority." For example Moroccan writer and painter Mahi Binebine: "You beat the drum for democracy and human rights - and out of sheer self-interest you support regimes that trample the most elementary rights and freedoms underfoot. You carry out humanitarian interventions in crisis areas - and you covertly sell weapons, and heavy artillery at that, as Ruanda has shown. And as if that weren't enough, you use your UN veto right as if it was the divine right of kings, or the droit de seigneur of the feudal lords. All of that puts us, the African, Arab and Muslim democrats who so admire your freedoms, in a very difficult position when we want to defend them."

In further articles, Chilean writer Jorge Edwards demands help for education and social security in developing countries from the G8 states. Antara Dev Sen, author and founder of the literary review The Little Magazine, finds it unfair that poor countries now have to pay for the sins of the rich in matters of energy consumption.

In the Malian capital of Bamako, Petra Reski observed preparations for the first African opera, the Sahel Opera Project's "Bintou Were," which now will travel to Europe. The score was composed by Ze Manel of Guinea-Bissau; the librettists are Senegalese musician Wasis Diop and poet Koulsy Lamko of Chad. Dramane Zie will sing the tenor part: "He is 79 years old and actually the master of ceremonies of liturgical song for big game hunters in Mali. He plays the bolon, which looks like a pumpkin pierced by a garden trowel, with strings. Dramane sings when hunters take off for the hunt, when they return and when they are buried; he sings when the spirits gather; he sings with a raspy, crooked voice, plucking the strings of the bolon. His bass is so dark and haunting that you think you're hearing with your belly, not your ears. With his music, Dramane brings the powers of heaven to tears; some in the troupe say he can make planes fall from the sky."


Die Tageszeitung 06.06.2007

Hans-Christoph Zimmermann presents the film project "Düsseldorf, mon amour" by director Luk Perceval, whose first command to his actors was: "Go into the city and get to know someone from Japan. His aim, Perceval said, was to provoke the discomfort about people and life that otherwise is delivered through theatrical texts or through newspapers and television commentaries: 'We are judging life, but we are not participating in life.' You don't even have to drag out Thomas Mann's nearly identical sentence to recognise the ancient trauma of artists. Whether in the Pygmalion myth or today's groups like the Rimini Protokoll, art always has sought closeness to life - whether trying Sisyphus-like to create life itself, or to produce an authentic copy."

Ekkehard Knörer is thrilled at the... yes, and? Is it a documentary film? A film essay? "Schindlers Häuser" (Schindler's buildings) by Heinz Emigholz. The 100-minute, practically silent film shows works by classic modern architect Rudolph M. Schindler. "Emigholz films Schindler's rooms congenially, never artificially disturbing the static architecture, for example by panning. A shot lasts five, six, seven seconds, then there's an immediate cut. The result is a series of fixed images, which organically reconstitute the rooms and buildings from their various parts using filmic means.... Image for image and shot for shot, Emigholz recreates the space constructed by the architect. For that reason "Schindlers Häuser" is a masterpiece not of architectural cinema, but of cinematographic architecture."


Die Welt 06.06.2007

Thomas Kielinger is blinded by death's beauty in artist Damien Hirst's "Beyond Belief" show in London's White Cube. "We stare, our mouths wide. We're ecstatic. In front of us gleams the most brilliant and at the same time most expensive object ever created by modern art: a platinum skull studded with 8,601 diamonds, the dernier cri by Damien Hirst, once one of the YBA (Young British Artist) wild ones. Not wild any more, Hirst is decidedly toned-down by the weight of his millions. With this 1,106 carat skull, Hirst has attained the non-plus-ultra of mannerism."

Get the signandsight newsletter for regular updates on feature articles.
signandsight.com - let's talk european.

 
More articles

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 11 - 17 December, 2010

A clutch of German newspapers launch an appeal against the criminalisation of Wikileaks. Vera Lengsfeld remembers GDR dissident Jürgen Fuchs and how he met death in his cell. All the papers were bowled over Xavier Beauvois' film "Of Gods and Men." The FR enjoys a joke but not a picnic at a staging of Stravinsky's "Rake's Progress" in Berlin. Gustav Seibt provides a lurid description of Napoleonic soap in the SZ. German-Turkish Dogan Akhanli author explains what it feels like to be Josef K.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 4 - Friday 10 December

Colombian writer Hector Abad defends Nobel Prize laureate Mario Vargas Llosa against European Latin-America romantics. Wikileaks dissident Daniel Domscheit-Berg criticises the new publication policy of his former employer. The Sprengel Museum has put on a show of child nudes by die Brücke artists. The SZ takes a walk through the Internet woods with FAZ prophet of doom Frank Schirrmacher. The FAZ is troubled by Christian Thielemann's unstable tempo in the Beethoven cycle. And the FR meets China Free Press publisher, Bao Pu.
read more

From the feuilletons

Saturday 27 November - Friday 3 December

Danish author Frederik Stjernfelt explains how the Left got its culturist ideas. Slavenka Draculic writes about censoring Angelina Jolie who wanted to make a film in Bosnia. Daniel Cohn-Bendit talks   about his friendship, falling out and reconciliation with Jean-Luc Godard. Wikileaks has caused an embarrassed silence in the Arab world, where not even al-Jazeera reported on the what the sheiks really think. Alan Posener calls for the Hannah Arendt Institute in Dresden to be shut down.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 20 - Friday 26 November, 2010

The theatre event of the week came in a twin pack: Roland Schimmelpfennig's new play, a post-colonial "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" opened at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin and the Thalia in Hamburg. The anarchist pamphlet "The Coming Insurrection" has at last been translated into German and has ignited the revolutionary sympathies of at least two leading German broadsheets, the FAZ and the SZ. But the taz, Germany's left-wing daily, says the pamphlet is strongly right-wing. What's left and right anyway? came the reply.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 13 - Friday 19 November, 2010

Dieter Schlesak levels grave accusations against his former friend and colleague, Oskar Pastior, who spied on him for the Securitate. Banat-Swabian author and vice chairman of the Oskar Pastior Foundation, Ernest Wichner, turns on Schlesak for spreading malicious rumours. Die Zeit portrays the Berlin rapper Harris, and the moment he knew he was German. Dutch author Cees Nooteboom meditates on the near lust for physical torture in the paintings of Francisco de Zurburan. An exhibition in Mannheim displays the dream house photography of Julius Schulman.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 6 - Friday 12 November, 2010

The NZZ asks why banks invest in art. The FAZ gawps at the unnatural stack of stomach muscles in Michelangelo's drawings. The taz witnesses a giant step for the "Yugo palaver". Bernard-Henri Levy describes Sakineh Ashtiani's impending execution as a test for Iran and the west. Journalist Michael Anti talks about the healthy relationship between the net and the Chinese media. Literary academic Helmut Lethen describes how Ernst Jünger stripped the worker of all organic substances.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 30 October - Friday 5 November, 2010

Now that German TV has just beatified Pope Pius XII, Rolf Hochmuth tells die Welt where he got the idea for his play "The Deputy". The FR celebrates Elfriede Jelinek's "brilliantly malicious" farce about the collapse of the Cologne City Archive. "Carlos" director Olivier Assayas makes it clear that the revolutionary subject is a figment of the imagination. The SZ returns from the Shanghai Expo with a cloying after-taste of sweet 'n' sour. And historian Wang Hui tells the NZZ that China's intellectuals have plenty of freedom to pose critical questions.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 23 - Friday 29 October, 2010

Author Doron Rabinovici protests against the concessions of moderate Austrian politicians to the FPÖ: recently in Vienna, children were sent back to Kosovo at gunpoint. Ian McEwan wonders why major German novelists didn't mention the Wall. The NZZ looks through the Priz Goncourt shortlist and finds plenty of writers with more bite than Houellebecq. The FAZ outs two of Germany's leading journalists who fiercely guarded the German Foreign Ministry's Nazi past. Jens-Martin Eriksen and Frederik Stjernfelt analyse the symptoms of culturalism, left and right. Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht demonstratively yawns at German debate.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 16 - Friday 22 October, 2010

A new book chronicles the revolt of revolting "third persons" at Suhrkamp publishers in the wild days of 1968. Necla Kelek is appalled by the speech of the very Christian Christian Wulff, the German president, in Turkey. The taz met a new faction of hardcore Palestinians who are fighting for separate sex hairdressing in Gaza. Sinologist Andreas Schlieker reports on the new Chinese willingness to restructure the heart. And the Cologne band Erdmöbel celebrate the famous halo around the frying pan.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 9 - Friday 15 October, 2010

The FR laps up the muscular male bodies and bellies at the Michelangelo exhibition in the Viennese Albertina. The same paper is outraged by the cowardice of the Berlin exhibition "Hitler and the Germans". Mario Vargas-Llosa remembers a bad line from Sweden. Theologist Friedrich Wilhelm Graf makes it very clear that Western values are not Judaeo-Christian values. The Achse des Guten is annoyed by the attempts of the mainstream media to dismiss Mario Vargas-Llosa. The NZZ celebrates the tireless self-demolition of Polish writer and satirist Slawomir Mrozek.
read more

From the feuilletons

Saturday 2 - Friday 8 October, 2010

Nigerian writer Niyi Osundare explains why his country has become uninhabitable. German Book Prize winner Melinda Nadj Abonji says Switzerland only pretends to be liberal. German author Monika Maron is not sure that Islam really does belong to Germany. Russian writer Oleg Yuriev explains the disastrous effects of postmodernism on the Petersburg Hermitage. Argentinian author Martin Caparros describes how the Kirchners have co-opted the country's revolutionary history. And publisher Damian Tabarovsky explains why 2001 was such an explosively creative year for Argentina.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 25 September - Friday 1 October

Three East German theatre directors talk about the trauma of reunification. In the FAZ, Thilo Sarrazin denies accusations that his book propagates eugenics: "I am interested in the interplay of nature and nurture." Polemics are being drowned out by blaring lullabies, author Thea Dorn despairs. Author Iris Radisch is dismayed by the state of the German novel - too much idle chatter, not enough literary clout. Der Spiegel posts its interview with the German WikiLeaks spokesman, Daniel Schmitt. And Vaclav Havel's appeal to award the Nobel prize to Liu Xiabobo has the Chinese authorities pulling out their hair.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 18 - Friday 24 September, 2010

Herta Müller's response to the news that poet Oskar Pastior was a Securitate informant was one of overwhelming grief: "When he returned home from the gulag he was everybody's game." Theatre director Luk Perceval talks about the veiled depression in his theatre. Cartoonist Molly Norris has disappeared after receiving death threats for her "Everybody Draw Mohammed" campaign. The Berliner Zeitung approves of the mellowing in Pierre Boulez' music. And Chinese writer Liao Yiwu, allowed to leave China for the first time, explains why schnapps is his most important writing tool.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 10 - Friday 17 September, 2010

The poet Oskar Pastior was a Securitate informant, the historian Stefan Sienerth has discovered. Biologist Veronika Lipphardt dismisses Thilo Sarrazin's incendiary intelligence theories as a load of codswallop. A number of prominent Muslim intellectuals in Germany have written an open letter to President Christian Wulff, calling for him to "make a stand for a democratic culture based on mutual respect." And a Shell study has revealed that Germany's youth aspire to be just like their parents.
read more

From the Feuilletons

Saturday 4 - Friday 10 September, 2010

Thilo Sarrazin has buckled under the stress of the past two weeks and resigned from the board of the Central Bank. His book, "Germany is abolishing itself", however, continues to keep Germany locked in a debate about education and immigration and intelligence. Also this week, Mohammed cartoonist Kurt Westergaard has been awarded the M100 prize for defending freedom of opinion. Chancellor Angela Merkel gave a speech at the award ceremony: "The secret of freedom is courage". The FAZ interviewed Westergaard, who expressed his disappointment that the only people who had shown him no support were those of his own class.
read more